CDC: Do you know what vaccines you need?
Cut prescription costs
More than half of Americans regularly take at least one prescription drug. For some people, it’s blood pressure pills or insulin. In my case, I need a mood stabilizing medication for anxiety. Whatever the need, patients across Kentucky are paying too much out of their own pockets for these medicines.
Surprisingly, the solution hasn’t come from broadening insurance coverage. Many insurers insist on setting their co-pays extremely high. And with various plans, the deductible you have to reach before getting any prescription drug coverage can reach into the thousands of dollars. These companies are profiting mightily while patients struggle to budget for essential medicines.
In modern healthcare, prescription medications are the primary way to control many diseases. I am certainly looking forward to advances in treatments for anxiety. As these developments come along — and government should take steps to ensure they do — they must, however, be made available to patients at a reasonable out-of-pocket cost. For that, our leaders are going to have to do something about the insurance companies and the ridiculous expenses they pass on to their own customers.
Kathleen O’Dea, Louisville
History on repeat
We have a long history of not recognizing black people as “really” Americans and of “sending back.”
In the first half of the 19th century Kentuckian Henry Clay headed the American Colonization Society for 17 years. The society offered to free slaves if they would settle in West Africa in what became, with the indigenous ethnic groups living there, the nation of Liberia with its capital Monrovia. Almost 800 went from Kentucky although Clay did not free any of his slaves to go. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries more than 20,000 Liberians and other Africans, some who came for education, some who came as refugees because of war, have made their homes in Kentucky. They teach in our universities and work in healthcare and state government, own businesses, and more. They contribute here and to their countries of origin.
I hope we are capable of building a welcoming multicultural society without racism. But we, including our politicians, have to stand up for that vision and work toward its reality.
Angene H. Wilson, Lexington
In praise of motorcycles
Around 50 years ago, in the Easy Rider era, motorcycles were a booming industry. Flash forward to today, where things we know are dangerous are no longer cool. So do motorcycles still have a place in the modern world? Absolutely, and here’s why.
The first thought for many is that they’re dangerous. There’s no easy answer there, but there are ways you can make yourself safer. Around 50 percent of motorcycle fatalities involve alcohol. Today, when there’s an Uber around every corner, this problem is easily avoided. Take responsibility for your safety. Practice in parking lots, wear safety gear every time, and ride like you are invisible to others.
Motorbikes can be cheap. A new 250cc bike might only cost around $4,000 and might even get up to 90 miles per gallon.
Traffic is another reason to switch. Studies show that 10 percent of drivers switching to motorbikes would lead to 40 percent less traffic congestion. Imagine Nicholasville Road with 40 percent less cars.
And how can I not mention that a motorcycle is just flat-out fun. The feel of the wind, the smell of summer rains, seeing the moon overhead, and just unplugging for a minute.
Then ask yourself, how much was your last fill-up? Because mine was $2.50.
Jordan Coleman, Lexington
Jesus was a liberal
The campaign for the U.S. Senate seat from Kentucky is off and running. As the political rhetoric heats up, the main topic is who is a conservative and who is a liberal. Kentuckians should always remember that Jesus was a liberal. He was liberal by every definition. He was progressive and advocated changing the status quo. He advocated for the poor, the homeless, the sick, the immigrants, and the children. He had great disdain for the wealthy and the powerful. In fact, if he were alive today, he would be labeled a (gasp) Socialist.
As the campaign continues, remember if you are a true Christian and embrace the teachings of Jesus you are a liberal, not a conservative. The term “conservative Christian” is an oxymoron.
Richard Kuehl, Harrodsburg